Archer is one of only three horse to carry more than 60kg to victory in the Melbourne Cup. Archer won the 1862 Melbourne Cup carrying 64.5 kg; Carbine won in 1890 with 64.5kg and Poitrel in 1920 carrying 63.5kg


TRAINER: Etienne de Mestre

OWNERS: William Etienne de Mestre, Thomas Roberts, Rowland H. Hassall, and the Estate of Thomas Royds (beneficiaries Edmund Molyneux Royds & William Edward Royds)

RACE RECORD/STAKE MONEY: 17 starts: 12 wins, 0 seconds, 3 thirds

Major Wins 

  • Melbourne Cup; Flemington; 1861
  • Melbourne Cup; Flemington; 1862


In 1861 Archer won the inaugural Melbourne Cup and ushered in a new era in Australian racing.

Offering total prize money of 930 sovereigns, the 1861 Cup attracted 17 starters, with the Victorian horse Mormon favourite at 3-1 over Archer at 6-1. The race was marred by a false start and then a fall affecting three horses. Archer managed to avoid the trouble and by the top of the straight he was three lengths clear, which he extended to six lengths to defeat Mormon.
A year later, Archer returned to Flemington for the 1862 Melbourne Cup, which he started as favourite in the field of 20. Although burdened with 10st 2lbs (64.5kg), he won his second Cup with even greater ease, beating Mormon by eight lengths, and claiming a place in the record books with his consecutive wins.

‘’Archer possessed a splendid constitution, with the finest temper in the world, was an easy horse to bring fit to the post, when in training, and as honest and true a runner as ever was saddled. It was a glorious sight to see him carrying Johnny Cutts to victory’ .’ The Sydney Sporting Life, 1 September, 1866

Image Source: Australian Racing Museum Collection